Bay of Pigs for classical guitar and string orchestra | Michael Daugherty, composer

Bay of Pigs
for classical guitar and string orchestra (2006)

I. havana dreams
II. waterfall
III. anthem

Instrumentation: Classical guitar & string orchestra

Publisher: Boosey and Hawkes, Hendon Music (BMI)

Duration: 16 minutes

World Premiere: July 31, 2006 / Patras-European Capital of Culture 2006, Patras, Greece / Cuarteto Latinoamericano / Manuel Barrueco, classical guitar

Program Note:

Bay of Pigs (2006) for classical guitar and string orchestra is a three-movement elegy for Cuba, past and present.

In the first movement, “havana dreams,” I have composed bittersweet, brooding music for Cuba before the revolution, as remembered by Cuban exiles around the world. Fidel Castro (b. 1926), who commanded the revolution in 1959, has been dictator of Cuba since that time. The second movement, entitled “waterfall,” evokes the turbulent seas surrounding Cuba. Here thousands of refugees have fled by boat and battles have been won and lost, including the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion by Cuban exiles. The ominous and angry rhythms of the final movement, “anthem,” echo the revolutionary chanting of Fidel Castro and the guerilla ghost of his communist ally, Che Guevara.

Bay of Pigs was commissioned by Music Accord for Manuel Barrueco. The first performance was given by Manuel Barrueco (classical guitar) with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano on July 31, 2006 in Patras, Greece for the Patras-European Capital of Culture 2006.

–Michael Daugherty